Developing a training plan

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A training plan is an essential part of ensuring a new employee’s onboarding process goes smoothly. A training plan clarifies expectations and helps create a positive work environment where both employees and employers understand their roles and responsibilities.

Identify your goals 

Ask yourself: what purpose will this plan serve? Is it a training plan for a specific role, or is it a general plan to use with everyone in your company? Do you intend to train the employee yourself, or will a manager/supervisor provide the training? What does success look like in an employee? Ask existing employees what they think should be included in training or have a brainstorming session with your team. 

Target Audience

If this is the employee’s first job, then you will likely need more hands-on training. If you are in an industry that requires previous training (e.g., electrician) your new employee may need less skills-based training but more focus on workplace culture, company policy, etc. Other considerations might include whether your employee is new to Canada, if they will be working full-time or part-time, and what type of work they will be doing (computer work, physical labour, etc.)

The type of training 

Your plan may include one or more types of training:

  • In classroom
  • One-on-one
  • Group
  • Online
  • On the job 

Consider the type of work that is to be done, and how it can be best demonstrated. Some tasks can easily be explained via a video or online course, others will require a practical component where the employee gets hands-on experience in a controlled environment.


Be prepared to be flexible in how you provide your training. Some people learn better through reading, some through hearing, some through hands-on experience. Taking the time to discover how an employee prefers to learn can make a huge difference in their training experience, and ultimately their job engagement and satisfaction. 

Create an Outline 

A good outline, taking the above points into consideration, will allow for the creation of the training plan to go smoothly. Think about what topics need to be covered, how long it typically takes to be competent in a task, and how long the training as a whole should take. 

Ideas to include in your outline: 

  • Introduction:
    • Set the goals and mood of the training and provide an overview of the business
  • The goals you have set:
    • Helps shape the outline by providing benchmark goals to achieve.
  • Major aspects of the training (ex: how to restock shelves or how to create an effective presentation)
  • Workplace culture / policy training
  • Online programs needing to be purchased
  • Training with different departments (Human Resources, I.T., Sales)
  • Timeline of the training

Once you are happy with your outline, ask an employee (or two) to review it. Receiving feedback can help iron out the details or structure of the training. 


Once an outline is completed and reviewed it is time to go back and add as much detail as possible. This may be done in collaboration with your employees. Below are some ideas for points to add – this list is not exhaustive!

Resources needed (internal and external): 

  • Corporate policies
    • Strategic plan
    • Job projects / plans
    • Presentations by other departments
    • Product knowledge workbooks (ex: Sports goods store need to know about brands sold)
  • Training materials used in each section:
    • Under each section make notes of what will be used to supplement the training and where it will be used.
    • Examples of training materials include PowerPoints, videos, and workbooks.
  • Company policies:
    • Employee handbook
    • Code of conduct
    • Employee dress code
  • Expectations for new employees:
    • Training progress
    • Professional development worksheets 

This should take your document from an outline to a document you could hand to an employee, making them equipped to train new employees. The more detail the better! 

Create training materials 

For any training done internally you will need to create or purchase the materials you need 

  • Power points
  • Videos
  • Workbooks
  • eLearning programs 


Regular reviews of your training plan will ensure it continues to fit the needs of your company and/or the position. This document should be forever changing!